Sunday, March 9, 2014

Another Anniversary Waltz Recce

The start of the course laid out ahead

16th Century Newlands Church
Today was a run out to show Jonathan the Anniversary Waltz fell race route.  The Anniversary Waltz gets its name because it was a race to celebrate the wedding anniversary of a couple who were married in Newlands Church.

It's a cracker of a route but the first four or five miles are along tracks and roads.  This section is hard going and you get the sense that, if this part is hard, what is it going to be like once you get on the fells?

Shortly after the start of the race, you pass the quaint Newlands Church (and school) and then carry on onto the track up to the reservoir at the bottom of the valley.  This is the point where you have to climb up to Robinson.  There are a variety of routes.  Last time we went Gerard's preferred way which climbs steeply up the scree to Blea Crags and then up some more rocks onto the main track to Robinson.  Today, we tried to pick up the end of the Bob Graham track, climbing more gently along the beck and then crossing over to Robinson.  I'm not sure which was better.  Gerard's way seemed to be quicker but that was probably because he was dragging me up there.

there is a school on the side of Newlands Church

the long track in

climbing up now

Hindscarth - next visit after Robinson

Jonathan on Robinson - Crummock Water and Loweswater behind him

and me

It was as windy as heck on Robinson.  There are big flat parts at the top which are normally fun to run across but today it was a struggle.  We didn't hang around too long and took the track to Littledale Edge before a nice run down to start the climb up to Hindscarth.

There is another nice run down to pick up Hindscarth Edge and the climb back up to Dale Head isn't as tough as you think it is going to be.

This panoramic shot taken from the top of Hindscarth shows most of the rest of the course: Dale Head, the highest point of the course, on the right with some snow still around, then the drop to Dale Head Tarn and climb back up to High Spy before the long easy run until we drop off Maiden Moor onto Catbells on the far left.

Jonathan on Dale Head much less snow than a few weeks ago

Gerard at the same spot a few weeks ago.  How far out do you think that snow cornice extends?

Classic Dale Head view

love this valley

From Dale Head, there is a good drop down to the tarn before you cross the beck and start the long climb up to High Spy.  From High Spy, it's really nice running, mostly gradually downhill to Cat Bells.

starting to drop down from Dale Head with the path climbing back up to High Spy visible

at Dale Head Tarn

crossing the beck

High Spy

track off Maiden Moor before running to Cat Bells

Jonathan heading down the track from Cat Bells

the previous track is in red, today's track is black. \Pretty much the same track but you can see the difference on the climb up to Robinson.

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